(Ames, IA) -- The City of Ames, is reminding people who shoot off fireworks, that their actions can be very expensive. Police the latest damage caused by fireworks was last week in Emma McCarthy Lee Park, $1,000 in damage there. In 2018, fireworks at Brookside Park caught a building on fire, resulting in a quarter of a million dollars in damage. Ames Police are reminding those caught setting off fireworks face a citation and $250 fine. Police say they could also get a big bill to fix the damage they cause.
Although State of Iowa law mandates municipalities allow the sale of fireworks, the City of Ames prohibits the exploding of fireworks within the city limits through a decades-old ordinance. Since the State legalized fireworks sales, City departments have regularly received complaints about exploding fireworks noise affecting pets and people, questions about debris and garbage left behind, and concerns about the potential for fires and damage.
“Leaving fireworks to the professionals is the best way to enjoy the Fourth of July,” said Parks and Facilities Superintendent Joshua Thompson. “Ames Parks and Recreation staff will spend countless hours cleaning up debris left from illegally exploded fireworks in the parks this summer instead of focusing on park maintenance and improvement work.”
Those who are caught exploding fireworks in Ames face a citation and $250 fine. People causing property damage may also be liable for the costs of repair. If you see someone using fireworks, please report them by calling Ames Police at 515.239.5133.